President Obama's job approval rating has changed little in the past few months, but with the economic recovery lagging desperately behind where most Americans would like it to be, his work to fix the ailing economy is scoring ever-lower marks.
The public is divided on the overall job he is doing now: 44 percent say they approve, while 45 percent disapprove -- virtually unchanged from last month.
The President's rating on the economy, however, has taken a further plunge in the latest CBS News Poll. Now, only 38 percent say they approve of the job he is doing handling the issue - which has been the problem weighing most heavily on the nation's collective mind for months. Half of those questioned (50 percent) say they disapprove of his work on the economy.
The latest CBS News Poll suggests Mr. Obama's presidency, in general, has not lived up to the expectations of many Americans. In assessing his presidency so far, just one third of Americans said he has been a "very good" or a "good" president. According to 39 percent, he's been "average", while 27 percent say he has been a "poor" president.
Those ratings fall far short of the public's expectations when Mr. Obama took office. In January 2009, two out of three Americans said they expected him to be a good or very good president. Only four percent said they thought he would be a poor president.
With these negative evaluations, President Obama's involvement on behalf of candidates running for office in November could prove detrimental. While most voters say the President's support for a candidate would not affect their vote, among those to whom it would make a difference his involvement would be more negative than positive. If President Obama supported a candidate in their area, just 15 percent of likely voters say that would make them more likely to vote for the candidate, and twice as many (31 percent) say it would make them more likely to vote against that candidate.
Overall views of Sarah Palin remain negative, according to the latest CBS News Poll, with fewer than one in four Americans voicing a favorable opinion of the former Alaska governor. Almost half (48 percent) view her unfavorably. Republicans are far more likely than Democrats or independents to view her favorably.
Although she has not ruled out a bid for the White House in 2012, few Americans (22 percent) think Palin has the ability to be an effective president, while 64 percent say she's not up to the job. This view is shared by a majority of Democrats and independents. While Republicans are more divided, more of them think she does not have the ability to be an effective president than think she does.
Many Tea Party supporters disagree with this assessment of Palin's abilities. Forty-seven percent of those questioned who describe themselves as Tea Party supporters think Sarah from Alaska has the ability to be an effective president, compared to 39 percent who do not.
Tea Party Views
While most Americans have yet to form an opinion of the Tea Party, among those who have, views are mixed. Twenty-two percent of Americans voice a favorable opinion of the Tea Party movement, while almost as many (21 percent) view the movement unfavorably. Most people (56 percent) say they're undecided or haven't heard enough about the movement yet.
Among voters overall, a candidate's connection to the Tea Party may be more of a hindrance than a help. Only 16 percent of Americans who know about the Tea Party say a candidate's affiliation with the movement would make them more likely to vote for that candidate, and even more (29 percent) say that would make them less likely to support the candidate. For almost half, though, affiliation with the Tea Party would make no difference.
Not surprisingly, Tea Party affiliation is much more appealing to Republican voters.source